On Saturday the 14th of September I woke up with the conviction that no matter what happened I would smile the entire day. I would not give myself a single moment to process the fact that today would mean that I was less than 48 hours from the moment I would stand at security and cry as I hugged my friends goodbye at Heathrow.
I decided that for this event I wanted something special and decided to tackle a project I have wanted to do for nearly two years. My spencer is fashioned after the one worn by Louise of Prussia. It is the first time I have ever used proper tailoring methods and I now have a great respect for pad stitching. My bonnet was created last February for the Keetje Hodshon Regency Ball in Haarlem by the magnificent Lynn McMasters with a few feathers added on top by yours truly.
I started off the morning with an interview by a Japanese morning show being televised live in Tokyo. I thrilled the reporter by replying in my rusty Japanese. I was then borrowed for another interview for a morning show in Bath. During the promenade I took immense pleasure in photo-bombing tourist photos, especially throwing up the peace sign with Japanese tourist who nearly fainted in shock.
After the promenade a man remarked that I looked like Lydia Bennet rushing off towards the soldiers, I countered by saying that I was indeed Fanny Price searching for Edmund. A complete stranger stopped and turned around to say ‘My dear there is no way you could be plain Fanny, you are Mary Crawford without the attitude’. As a Jane Austen devotee (especially to Mansfield Park) this is one of the most touching compliments I have ever received and I will carry it with me. I was utterly taken aback (in the most positive of ways) and a friend had to make apologies for my sudden loss of speech and thank her for me.
Through friends I was able to find photos of me on three major news websites including The Guardian which I am completely tickled and honoured by. The most amazing moment was when I poured myself a cup of smoky earl grey from my dwindling stock of Fortnum & Mason tea jar and settled down on Flickr to peruse the photos.
Words cannot describe my utter shock at finding so many photos of myself (especially the ones with the little girls. I LOVE photos with children). The best moment came when I came across the page of Steve Wassell ( All rights reserved by fat-freddies-cat ). I don’t want to use the word shy (because I am definitely not) but I am usually very aware of my smile because when I am happy I have the tendency to grin very wide. But to see this photo and see how happy I was reflected in my eyes is completely priceless. Mr. Wassell, I am unsure if you will ever see this but I cannot find the words to thank you enough for the gift you have given me. You have allowed me a form of closure, I am able to look back on this weekend and recognize it for the truly magical time it was. I was fortunate enough to have been able to spend my last few days with my dearest and closest friends before flying off with a smile on my heart and in my eyes.